Robotic Surgery May Not Be All That and a Bag of Chips

More and more doctors are doing robotic surgery on patients. It may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In a recent study of FDA incident reports, investigators found that in the last 12 years, there have been 1,391 injuries and 144 deaths from robotic surgery.

Gynecologic and urologic surgeries via robots seem to be ok. The complication rate isn’t any higher than the old-fashioned way. However, the study from MIT, Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Urbana found that errors in cardiothoracic and head and neck surgeries done with robots are much higher than normal.

Most of the problems come from broken pieces of surgical tools falling into a patient (!), electrical sparking and unintended movements of the robot.

So, if your doctor tries to pass this surgery off to you as being safer, ask questions about alternatives before you go ahead.